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Fred Schmidt finally receives MBE from a very Royal Nik Roope

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Fred Schmidt, the director of international affairs of Capital Factory and the global tech leader, was yesterday presented with his MBE in Austin during SXSW, however instead of being presented with his honour by a member of the Royal Family, he was honoured by Poke co-founder Nik Roope.

The MBE, received for services to UK/US relations, was initially announced last Summer. Karen Bell, the British Consul General for Texas presented Schmidt with his MBE but it was down to Englishman Roope to officially bestow the honour while wearing Royal threads.

The ceremony took place at the annual Poke/Webby SXSW BBQ which also featured the now regular mariachi band and agency personnel.

Nick Farnhill, co-founder of Poke and recently appointed chief executive Publicis London, said: "Fred is the U.K. Tech community's favourite fan and supporter of the Austin/Hackney sister city partnership. His spirit of contribution not competition has paid dividends for companies in both cities working together"

Other Americans to receive royal honours include Steven Spielberg who is an OBE, Angelina Jolie who has an Order of St Michael and St George, and Henry Winkler is also an OBE.

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Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze and producers Harvey Weinstein and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

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